Sunday, June 29, 2008

Fr. James's Homily: Solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul

This Sunday’s solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul directs our gaze to Rome, the center of Catholicism. As Catholics, our identity, meaning, and direction only have fulfillment in so far as we are united to the Vicar of Christ, the visible head of the Church. The challenging times that we live in provides countless opportunities to be heroically faithful to the Magisterium of the Church.

In order to continue his work on earth and lead all peoples to eternal salvation, Jesus established one visible and hierarchical Church. It is very clear from the continual preparation of the Jewish people in the Old Testament and then with the precise act of Jesus in Cesarea Philippi, that God willed to found one Church as a visible, hierarchical, living, and continuing authority, to teach, govern, and sanctify in his name. It is no less clear that Jesus appointed the Apostle Simon the fisherman as the visible head of his Church. Even as he conferred the authority, Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter; i.e. rock. The name Peter had never existed prior to this divine event in Cesarea Philippi.

"Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven". (Matthew 16: 17-19).... (Continued here).

No comments: